BRUCE Griffiths does not subscribe to predictions of doom and gloom for Australia's automotive industry. Just the opposite, in fact.
The semi-retired 63-year-old from Toorak is still actively involved in the auto components industry as a director at Air International and adviser at Futuris. After 39 years in the business - including stints as managing director and chairman of several local suppliers - he remains confident it can weather the impact of the high Australian dollar.
"I'm a great believer that Australia can be competitive," he said. "We keep getting challenges thrown at us and the most recent one is currency but we've seen an industry that has improved to the point where we are globally competitive today."
He is now using his considerable experience and skills in manufacturing in a part-time government-appointed role as rail supplier advocate, in which he lobbies on behalf of rail suppliers to improve their competitiveness.
Mr Griffiths' other great passion is sailing couta boats, something he has done since he was a child.
Never one to stand in the background, he is also the chairman of Sail Melbourne and a former vice-commodore of the Sorrento Sailing Club.
Along with second wife, Christine, he has a combined brood of four children and seven grandchildren.
"All the kids are married and very happy, so we've got a pretty good life, I have to say," he said.
"Business has been good, we are half-retired and spending a bit of time giving a bit back and keeping my foot in a few camps like auto and doing a bit of sailing.
"You don't do any of this for reward, you do it because you're committed to an industry. I'm absolutely thrilled and quite humbled that after 40 years of a career, at the end someone says it was worthwhile.
"It's not what you seek out but I'm very humbled by it."